The hotspots include FIVE parishes in the same area of the north coast
The proliferation of second homes and holiday lets in Cornwall has been shown clearly on a new heatmap which indicates some areas have up to 71% of properties being used in that way.
Cornwall Council has produced the map which shows the parishes in Cornwall which have the highest proportions of second homes and holiday lets.
The map was provided as part of a new plan which has been drawn up setting out how the council wants to tackle the current housing crisis.
When the document – Securing Homes for All, A Plan to respond to Cornwall’s housing crisis – was published for public consultation one of the key issues highlighted most by people was the number of second homes and holiday lets.
On the map it shows that St Minver Lowlands has the highest proportion of second homes and holiday lets with an estimated 71% of properties in the parish being registered as for that use.
Neighbouring St Minver Highlands is the second highest with 69% whilst nearby St Merryn has 60%. Six of the top areas are in North Cornwall and all of the parishes are on the coast.
Where are the top 12 areas for holiday homes?
St Minver Lowlands – 71%
St Minver Highlands – 69%
St Merryn – 60%
St Endellion – 57%
Gerrans – 47%
St Martin-by-Looe – 46%
St John – 46%
St Anthony-in-Meneage – 44%
Padstow – 43%
Poundstock – 42%
St Just – 42%
Lanteglos – 42%
The new housing plan was being discussed by the council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee which heard from Jon Lloyd-Owen, the council’s service director for housing.
He explained that the council’s records show that there are around 13,500 second homes registered as such on the council tax database and that an additional 12,000 properties are registered as holiday lets.
With a total of more than 25,000 properties registered as either second homes or holiday lets which represents 8% of Cornwall’s total housing stock.
Mr Lloyd-Owen said that when it comes to tackling the issue the heatmap will help to ensure that an appropriate approach is taken to different parts of Cornwall.
“In some parts of Cornwall there are very few properties being used as second homes or holiday lets so in the main they are for local people. But in some areas the percentage of second homes is very high, it rises to more than a half of homes in some parishes.
“It is in those areas where we see very high house prices and rents which are unaffordable for local people. It is those areas where we are seeing housing markets stressed and acute problems with affordability”.
The committee heard that the council is seeking to get more control over second homes and holiday lets by asking the Government to introduce new legislation which would mean that if someone wants to use a property as a second home or holiday let they would require planning permission to do so.
In addition the council is also looking to work with organisations such as Airbnb which have fuelled the increase in properties being used as holiday lets.
Olly Monk, Cabinet member for housing, said that whilst Airbnb had caused an issue in Cornwall not all the properties being used through the service were previously primary residences.
He said: “Many of them were meant to be holiday properties anyway and they are just using the service.
“It is residential properties that are in the middle of towns that were never rented out (as holiday lets) which are the issue and they (Airbnb) are a very easy way for landlords to make lots of money.
“We want to keep the holiday accommodation that has never been used as primary residences but prevent residential properties from being used for Airbnb”.
Cllr Monk said that the council wanted to find a way to have more control ovet the number of properties being used as Airbnb holiday lets.
He said that the council wanted to work alongside organisations like Airbnb to find out how to improve the situation.
“It is affecting not just Cornwall but areas across the world. It is not in their interests not to engage with us”.
Cllr Monk said he was also hopeful that the Government will support the change of legislation needed to allow planning controls over second homes and holiday lets.
“We have got all six MPs on board on this. It was more difficult before as it was Cornwall on its own asking for this but now it is in the Lake District and Norfolk Broads and other areas in the country there is now an expectation to make that change”.